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Should ocPortal really be in British English?

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What variant should be used?
British
American
International
I do not care
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Posted
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#76758 (In Topic #15811)
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Hehe, this poll is going to annoy the heck out of Robbie and some others.

Personally I could not really care less. I'm all for standardisation (standardization), and I don't particular care for those cultural differences between countries that some people take as a point of patriotism ;). I'd even have us all change to a new language if it meant we all understood each other around the world (a point I know some of the more romantic language lovers would fervently disagree with).

On a purely practical level, most of the people who have worked on ocPortal are either British or Indian, so British empirespelling is what comes naturally. I know if I tried to output American English, I would probably end up being very inconsistent.

This poll is not a democratic thing, we'll probably ignore it, but I am just honestly curious what people think.

I am aware there is a case for supporting both, but let's put that aside for a minute.


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Posted
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#76759
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Personally I could not really care less

I better translate that line into American:

Personally I really could care less

But as we educated folk hopefully know, in this case I would care, because the American version is nonsense :lol:.


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  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
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#76761
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Community saint

It is a difficult question to answer if it is tied specifically to ocPortal and its documentation.

I'm afraid I can be as jingoistic as the next person, whatever his or her nationality, and consider the grammar and spelling of British English to be the de facto standard.

However, the standard for 'code' is without doubt American English, and that often gives one pause for thought when trying to explain something in writing, e.g. an explanation or advice in these forums. The explanation can often be easily hijacked when the reader concentrates on the spelling and grammar, and not the content.

Don't know if that made sense, but I think most would have got the point.

 :thumbs:

Take my advice. I'm not using it!

View my working ocPortal site (version 9.x.x) at Anglo-Indian Portal
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Posted
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#76765
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Community saint

Chris Graham said

 I don't particular care for those cultural differences between countries that some people take as a point of patriotism ;).

I wholeheartedly agree with you!

For me, on a pure logical sense, this program was developed in England and should therefore be written in the British form of English. Being from French decent, I always took it be the only English language. This said, I earned my living speaking a kind of poor English graciously accepted in all the countries I've lived in for the past 40 years of my life. So, I probably have no business participation in that poll!;)
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Posted
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#76767
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Fan in training

I'm an American who spent 3 years in the UK during my teenage formative years.  As a result, I still often spell words with the proper British spelling and have taken flak from folks on both sides of the pond depending on which one I use.
It's foolish to give people a hard time over an "extra" or "missing" u in a word, or a preference of using grey vs. gray.  Both are correct in English.  As long as the spelling is in the dictionary as correct, who cares which side of the Atlantic it came from?

Use whichever spelling standard you wish.  Spend more time worrying about the code / project and less time worrying over translating your documentation to some English variant to cater to us Americans.  :)

That's my opinion on the matter.

-Tep.
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Posted
Rating:
#76770

Non-joined user

Stick with what you know.  It's better to write in correct British English, than incorrect (or inconstant) American English.

It's not like you're going to be writing much apart from 'colour/color' - so it's easily understandable by either side.  I doubt subtleties such as the 'care less' example you used are actually going to come up in 99% of situations you're writing text for.

Anyway, if you use Indian developers as you're proposing to cut costs, prepare to see a type of British English that hasn't been used in the UK for about 100 years!
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Posted
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#76772
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Anyway, if you use Indian developers as you're proposing to cut costs, prepare to see a type of British English that hasn't been used in the UK for about 100 years!

Indian developers have contributed good code to ocPortal for many years.

Forgive me for saying so, maybe I am misunderstanding your tone, but that comment came across to me as quite accusatory and elitist, it did not sit well with me at all.

That said it is very true there are very big challenges (which I have blogged about), so at the same time I can't actually disagree with you as such, in some sense you're right.

It's just not nearly that black and white, and it's not simply a case of us having infinite cash to do what might be easiest – we're in a global economy, with global clients, and there are all kinds of imbalances that are both opportunities and challenges that need to be factored in, because in capitalism if you don't find the most efficient way of working, your competitors will and you'll be toast. So it is vital we experiment with these things. We have some very large clients in developing countries who literally cannot afford normal western salaries unless we find efficient structures for operating, and increasingly with the western economies being broken, and again globalisation, not paying western salaries is becoming the norm anyway. Usually that means harder work for me, or other passionate people in the team, but that does not scale. You can't just ignore this kind of thing I'm afraid.

Maybe you'd like to help sponsor development so that we don't need to worry about managing costs so much ;).


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Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Rating:
#76773
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Community saint

Fletch said

It is a difficult question to answer if it is tied specifically to ocPortal and its documentation.
I don't think it is.

While I'm sure that American English is much more prevalent on the web then British English, most people (dare I say everyone) can read and understand either version equally well. From a readability/comprehension point of there is negligible difference especially give that colloquialisms don't typically find their way into documentation.
However, the standard for 'code' is without doubt American English
How true, but at then end of the day 'code' is a technical item and as such has an understandable requirement for rigidity. That's really no different then using Latin for naming plants.
and that often gives one pause for thought when trying to explain something in writing, e.g. an explanation or advice in these forums. The explanation can often be easily hijacked when the reader concentrates on the spelling and grammar, and not the content.
There will always be purists and elitists out there and that is their problem.

I often consciously try and write the American spelling of words when I'm talking about code mainly for consistancy so that my explanation of color matches the code snippet containing color.

But for me, this is more due to my work background which requires/encourages me to makes things as simple as possible for my users even if it takes me more effort.

Guest said


Anyway, if you use Indian developers as you're proposing to cut costs, prepare to see a type of British English that hasn't been used in the UK for about 100 years!

Chris Graham said

Forgive me for saying so, maybe I am misunderstanding your tone, but that comment came across to me as quite accusatory and elitist, it did not sit well with me at all.
Guest, while I agree with Chris that your comments don't sit quite right, I do get the gist of what your are saying.

When the company I worked for outsourced most of their development to India, and I was dealing with them continuously both locally and via phone/email back in India, there were lots of problems with language.

The use of unexpected terminology and grammar was rife, and problematic as it resulted in misunderstandings that very frequently resulted in rework.

So, as Chris already knows, when it comes to outsourcing it just means that a certain amount of rework has to factored in and weighed up against the benefit/value, and that some work may not be economical / logical at all to outsource.

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Posted
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#76775
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Chris Graham said

Hehe, this poll is going to annoy the heck out of Robbie and some others
Absolutely! I physically shudder when I see the word "aluminum". ;)

I think the easiest thing to do would be to write a add-on for American users that will automatically convert English into US-English. All it has to do is remove all the Us and swap all the Ss with Zs! :D


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Posted
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#76779
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Community saint

Robbie Goacher said

I think the easiest thing to do would be to write a add-on for American users that will automatically convert English into US-English. All it has to do is remove all the Us and swap all the Ss with Zs! :D

Unfortunately, that doesn't fix 'catalogues'.

Bob
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Posted
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#76780
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Community saint

While I personally think that the best solution is to have both British and US English translations, I can understand that that is just an added cost.

Unfortunately, people are reactionary on both sides of this argument although I can say that Americans can easily understand British English. While that would seem to support using British English - and acknowledging that some form of British English is spoken in more parts of the world - I think the standard on the Web (and, thus, moving forward) is American English. I think that is the most important argument as if a German, Russian or (non-Hon Kong) Chinese person were writing in English, it will most likely be American English.

Bob

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